China's Gaming Companies No Longer Focuses on Male Players
By Faith Magbanua, March 03, 2018 02:03 AM
While male gamers have traditionally dominated the world's biggest gaming market, more and more females in China are starting to splash in the cash online -- and the country's gaming powerhouses have been reaping the benefits.
Prior to that, there has been a wide spectrum of male gamers not only in China but all over the world. However, change has started to take over because gaming companies in China aims to target female gamers too.
In recent months, games designed for a female audience have reached unprecedented popularity, though more hardcore games are also proving popular and attracting record numbers of female players.
For example, Love and Producer, a mobile-based game developed by Suzhou-based Pape Games, has hooked legions of Chinese women mostly in their 20s.
Essentially a dating simulation, players assume the role of a female TV producer tasked with saving a production company by trying to revive a hit show.
In doing so, they can contend for the attention of virtual boyfriends -- the four male protagonists within the game with different traits and personalities -- along the way.
Chinese women are spending millions of dollars on virtual boyfriends
Love and Producer has been downloaded by a combined 55 million times from Android and the iOS App Store since its December release, becoming the second-most popular smartphone game in the country, according to ASO 100, a Beijing-based data provider.
Fans have spent as much as 600 million yuan ($95 million) on the title in the past three months, as they race to buy digital items to unlock new options within the game, and go on virtual dates with their favorite in-game heart-throbs, estimated Cui Chenyu, an analyst at IHS Markit.
The growing number of China's female gamers also means there will probably be more female-oriented game titles in future -- though they're more likely to come from smaller studios rather than giants like Tencent or NetEase, who want to develop games for everyone, said IHS Markit's Cui. However, she noted that Chinese females are also starting to come to Battlegrounds, last year's top-selling shooting game developed by South Korean studio Bluehole that Tencent is now distributing in China, as it has easier gameplay and features plenty of social interaction potential.
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